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Hercules Found Abused in Deptford Home, Says NJSPCA

The American bulldog was allegedly starved by his owner, Roxanne Notaro.

Hercules doesn’t look anything like his namesake.

Wasted to nearly nothing, his ribs stand out like a xylophone and his hip bones are a pair of blades.

You can count his vertebrae with just a glance.

The American bulldog was found locked in a crate in deplorable conditions, New Jersey SPCA president Rick Yocum said, after a Deptford police officer responded to the Oak Valley home where he lived last week.

Now his owner, Roxanne Notaro, is facing multiple counts of animal cruelty for allegedly abusing the dog.

Hercules was found in the basement of Notaro’s Vassar Road home on April 3, Yocum said, covered in his own feces and urine, and anemic from an infestation of fleas that had feasted on him.

He was malnourished and dehydrated, Yocum said, and was taken from the home by Gloucester County animal control and whisked to Delaware Valley Veterinary Hospital for emergency treatment.

He’s recovering in foster care now, according to Yocum, but the NJSPCA is looking for donations to help cover his medical costs so far, as well as for surgery the dog will need on his elbow at some point in the future.

Notaro faces six counts of animal cruelty for the alleged abuse.

Editor's note: this article was edited to reflect the fact that the home is actually in the Oak Valley section of Deptford.

Barbara J Miller April 11, 2012 at 09:48 PM
GET THIS STRAIGHT.....I'm not an Eagles Fan....I'm a dyed in wool REDSKIN FAN !!! But it would not matter to me....I would like to see Vick fry just like those poor innocent pit bulls did. I have no use or forgiveness for anyone who abuses animals !!!
Barbara J Miller April 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Let's not forget this woman had a cat that had to be put to sleep and she also had a chocolate lab that was healthy but infested with fleas....it's days had to be numbered !!! Strange no where in the article do I read that she was reduced to skin and bones, she remembered to feed herself just not Hercules and the cat.
Lisa Hannigan April 11, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Yeah, funny how the humans are never skin and bones. I don't think the article said the lab was "infested", but it had food to eat. How do you feed one dog and forget about another. Did you see her Facebook page? She says something about living with her "beloved dog and cat." Makes me sick.
Lisa Hannigan April 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/roxanne.notaro
Lisa Hannigan April 11, 2012 at 10:34 PM
This is a picture of her. She doesn't look starved by any means. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2446728666427&set=a.1043869475824.6747.1798256255&type=3
Barbara J Miller April 11, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Just saw her on Facebook and read all her bull. She certainly doesn't look like she missed any meals to me. Just think if she shared a fraction of what she fed herself, Hercules wouldn't be suffering right now. No matter what I find out about her it's not going to change my mind on how I feel because even a kid knows their pet has to eat. And if you know to lock something up so it can't get out you know "right from wrong"
Lisa Hannigan April 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I agree, Barbara. I just wanted to see the monster for myself. It was only a week ago that she was posting pictures of herself on FB while that poor pup was suffering terribly in her basement? Then I see pictures of her with her mother, grandmother, and daughter, and it makes me sick. Did they know? The kid looked about 12 in the picture from 2009. This just hits so close to home, it freaks me out. I hope I know her court date so I can be there.
Barbara J Miller April 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I can't believe that no one knew....I believe no one cared !!! I believe they figured oh well, it's just a dog it will die sooner or later so they just walked away and let matters be. And now this is the out come. I pray for Hercules to get well......I hope for her to learn what hunger really is and the sooner the better. I don't think she should EVER be allowed to own a pet again !!!
al fisher April 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM
it makes me sick to think that before you worry about the hunger of the dog what about the people in the area that need food and are hungry,no one says anything about that but as soon as they put a animal that hasn't been fed gee you all come out of the woodwork WORRY ABOUT THE FAMILIES THAT NEED FOOD MORE THAN THIS DOG.i'm an animal lover but let's be realistic you feed your children before you feed your pet if you had no choice.
Barbara J Miller April 12, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Al you know what I love children and feel the same way about them going hungry and being abused. If adults showed responsibility and controlled their raging hormones we wouldn't have hungry and abused children now would we ??? I don't ever recall seeing a picture in any paper around here of a child looking like it was starved the way Hercules was. If it's going on then maybe their picture should go on the front page of the paper to bring it to everyone's attention. I will be the first to vent my anger in their behalf and you can carve that in stone !!!
Lisa Hannigan April 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM
As Barbara pointed out, just because I am an animal advocate, it does not mean I don't love children just the same. I was a child development major in college and advocate on their behalf doing volunteer work. I was a preschool teacher for many years and reported what I suspected may have been abuse in children many times. However, I never saw anything nearly as horrific as this. That's because this kind of torture and abuse in children brings with it a much stiffer penalty. Animals and children are defenseless. They're at our mercy, and we need to take that seriously. Whereas you can't give children to a shelter, you can with a dog. It's a lot easier to give a dog up for adoption than a child. Why didn't Hercules' owner just give him to a shelter or put him up for adoption if she didn't want him? As for your viewpoint, Al, you are acting like animals don't count just because there are hungry and abused children out there. Rescuing Hercules is not going to prevent child abuse and neglect. Making stiffer penalties for animal abuse would perhaps prevent these situations from happening and then people like you wouldn't have to bring up the whole animal/children debate. These situations would be fewer. I volunteer for both children and animals. What have you done lately to help abused and neglected children, Al?
Lenore Locke April 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Hi Lisa Hannigan, I will keep you posted. Once I get off work today, I'll look you up and friend you so I can keep you posted! I will do everything I can in my power to follow what happens (if anything, sad to say), to Roxanne.
Roxi K April 14, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Al, one has nothing to do with the other. Don't downplay and bash the efforts of one rescue in hopes of somehow making another more important. That's just bad taste. No one said take food away from hungry children. They are both important but making animal abuse seem like its not important, just makes you seem like an uneducated ass. If you don't like everyone's effort to help this poor dog, then turn off your computer and go volunteer for a breakfast for learning program. That would be a better use of your energy!!!
Lisa April 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Roxi, thank you. You and Charlene have been a great help. All the support of other animal lovers gives me hope and faith that I need. I hope justice is served. And your comment to Al is exactly what I wanted to say and didn't really get across.
Lisa April 14, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Barbara. I didn't mean to leave you out. I appreciate your support too.
pat baud April 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Hearing at Deptford Municpal Blding 8 am!
Joy Marshek April 19, 2012 at 05:55 AM
I want to adopt him!!! I'm not working, am retired, and I believe we would be good for each other! I could give him all the love he would ever need. I would let him sleep in my bed with me each and every night. He would never be alone again. He would go wherever I would go; to the store, post office, parks, walks (eventually), family, and friends, and just some "us" time alone, with a big double lot privacy fenced back yard to romp and play in, 80'x239'. He would have the best vet care as I would take him to my vet which is Avondale Veterinary Healthcare Complex, Avondale Cat Hospital | Avondale Pet Resort, 4318 East Army Post Road Des Moines, Iowa 50320 I believe I need him as much as he would need me. I reiterate that we would be good for each other! Please let me have a chance at adopting him. I would drive out to get him in a heart beat and am ready to go when he is capable to travel. I could even come out there a week or so early to let him get acquainted with me and visa versa. I am like a dog whisperer, so I know that he and I will be just wonderful together. I am an aortic dissection survivor and so there would never EVER be ANYONE around us that is in anyway mean or hostile, for I can not take that kind of abuse either. So he would forever be loved and well taken care of. Please think about giving me a chance to adopt him, OK? Please? I can be reached on my facebook page for further contact on this issue or through the Patch email.
Joy Marshek April 19, 2012 at 06:12 AM
I believe that everything happens for a reason. My reason to be up at this time of the night (not usual) and looking at news articles has led me to the article on Hurcules. What a sweet boy he is. My heart goes out to him and so does the offer to adopt him into a forever home. One in which he will never want for anything ever again. Not for food, not for love, not for comfort. He would be kept in a pain free and safe environment. I believe I was sent to the Patch, which I was never a member of until I saw the Hurcules article, as the one to be his "family" forever. I have no pets now but I believe maybe in the future we could even get him a buddy to have as a companion too. People live longer with a pet and I believe that pets live longer with another pet as well. He should have the best of both worlds. Please consider me as a person of interest whom would give Hercules, and I would NEVER change his name, a wonderful loving forever home. Thanks!
Joy Marshek April 19, 2012 at 06:42 AM
What vet hospital is he in? I want to make a donation directly to them!!!! Could someone from the Patch let me know? And so much hate in these comments..... God bless the people whom have touched and entered into Hercules' life to save him. And to the little boy who had a Lemonaide stand, that was wonderful that you did for Hercules. God bless you!
Joy Marshek April 19, 2012 at 06:52 AM
After reading some more of the stories on him, I found the name of the vet where Hercules is being cared for. I will call them in the morning to make a donation to them.
Bryan Littel (Editor) April 19, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Joy - sounds like's going to be adoptable through the Gloucester County Animal Shelter. You can get in touch with them at 856-881-2828 or gcas@co.gloucester.nj.us.
Joy Marshek April 19, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Thank you for the information Bryan. Hope your having a great day!
Barbara J Miller April 19, 2012 at 07:49 PM
You're right Joy there is a lot of hate in these comments.....and rightly so !!! We have a right to feel this way. I give monthly to several organizations, all benefitting some sort of animal on one way or the other Why.....because of my love for them. My heart aches for them. Nobody makes anyone go out and bring a pet into their life. It's inexcusable what this and all monsters like her do. To lock something up so it can't even walk and leave it to starve while you sit yourself down to a table and eat....there no words in my vocabulary to describe how I feel about this poor excuse of a human being !!! All she had to do was call the animal shelter and say I have an unwanted pet in my home I don't want.....that's all she had to do, that's all. If you can over look what she did then you are a bigger person then me, because I can't. If I came across her and a dog or animal of any kind and they were all starving.....I don't need to say who I would share my last bite of food with but I will.....it wouldn't be her !!! She deserves to be hated because you can't find a single excuse for what she did !!!!!!
Joy Marshek April 20, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I'm not saying you don't have that right to feel the way you do Barbara. I'm just saying if you feel the way you do and have so much energy to expound on the subject, direct that to your Congressman, Senator, and/or Governor to get the laws changed, so when someone like her does the unthinkable towards a poor defenseless creature, they can be held accountable. And just as someone that is "along for the ride" during a crime, they are an accessory to the crime, and so should someone that has "knowledge of abuse" to an animal, they also should be held accountable. I think then and only then, will people change their perception of what they are doing....well, some will. And if that cuts down just a fraction of the abuse, that would be a fraction less then what there is today. That would be a beginning. And yes, she should be held accountable, and I hope that the justice system gets tougher on these people, and that they start with her! God bless you Barbara for all that you do for animal rights. And keep up the good work that you do. You, me, we all need to do more for their rights and that will have to begin with law change.
Joy Marshek April 20, 2012 at 02:59 AM
You know what Barbara? I just want to say thanks! I am going to follow up on my own advice! I am going to start writting to my Congressman, Senator, and Governor to see about getting the laws changed! I cry easily and so I will be a blubbering mess in front of the committee as I present my case, but I will begin the process. And I always do what I say I'm going to do. But I'm missing a very important key to the equation, and poster animal. I need Hercules by my side. He and I could get this done!!!
Barbara J Miller April 20, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Joy I am 65 years old and I have been writing letters for years,sent emails and signed every petition sent my way. I have given thousands throughout my life time. I have spent my energy believe you me. You know what I'm not the only one doing that. You know what else.....in all these years little has changed !!! For some odd reason some laws never change in the right direction and unfortunately their not going to. And that in it's self is a sad day for us all !!!
Joy Marshek April 20, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I hear you Barbara. I'm 56 and so if I spent the next 9 years till I'm 65, well maybe by then things will change. We can not give up. We have to be their voice! And like I have said previously, I'm retired and have nothing else better to do. Sure would be better then sitting around and making quilts like I was going to do, lol. Nothing wrong with quilts, but I can better use my energy towards animal rights. Maybe qet a quilt or two thrown in there too. I do a lot of knitting also, and that is a good stress reliever, nice and relaxing. I'm going to bed, so later Barbara. You have a good night.
Joy Marshek April 20, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Night Hercules!! Mine and God's love to you!!!! Hang in there buddy, you will make it and be the handsome boy you were always suppose to be.
Joy Marshek April 23, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Sweet dreams Hercules!
Barbara J Miller April 23, 2012 at 05:32 AM
My latest HEROES......Caide and Hercules. Thank you Caide you have a kind and generous heart. I love people like you. We need more Caides in this world.....yes we do. And as for Hercules, it is a true miracle that he is alive today.....and we can all celebrate a new beginning with him. God Bless You Both !!!

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